JCAHO Update for Infection Control

JCAHO, CMS are merging hospital quality measures

Common measures manual available

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are working together in completely aligning current and future common hospital quality measures in their condition-specific performance measure sets.

Common measures manual

The current hospital quality measures are included in the Joint Commission’s ORYX Core Measures and CMS’ 7th Scope of Work Quality of Care Measures on heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical infection prevention.

CMS and the Joint Commission have released and made available on their web sites a common measures specification manual, which includes a data dictionary, measure information forms, algorithms, and other technical support information. (The specification manual can be found at www.jcaho.org/pms/core+measures/aligned_manual.htm.)

The intent is to achieve total identity of common measures by the time that data collection for January 2005 patient discharges begin.

Reduce costs for hospitals

The intended measure alignment will make it easier and less costly for hospitals to comply with existing CMS and Joint Commission requirements for data collection and reporting, according to a Joint Commission release.

The measures that are in the four Joint Commission and CMS hospital measure sets, which presently are in use, calculate the same way, but there are differences in the format of the specifications for data elements, types of cases excluded, calculation algorithms, and other measure dimensions.